Grand Prix Copper: Men’s & Women’s Superpipe Finals

12 Dec, 2009

It was hard to get stoked on today’s finals after getting my gear stolen last night but I made it to the mountain just in time to watch the final runs of practice.  The conditions weren’t as nice as yesterday, overcast with some snowfall during today’s finals.  From the parking lot, you couldn’t miss the massive superpipe at Copper.

After hiking up to the bottom of the superpipe I watched as Shaun White just finished his warm-up runs and captured this moment that says a lot. He’s talking with Keir Dillon and all eyes on him.  It certainly will be that way for a while as the Olympics are coming up soon.

I ended capturing this shot of him hiking up the pipe, nothing else except pipe in the vision and a crowd of people waiting for the finals.

It was rough to watch today’s finals, a lot of the riders had issues with making a clean run.  They only had two runs to get on the podium, so it looked like a lot of nerves from the riders.  But there were a lot of great moments and style when a rider was able to throw down and clear the entire pipe with a solid run.  It was clear that Louie and Shaun and Kelly were going to podium, they look so natural in the superpipe.

Shaun White took home first place for the men

Kelly Clark took home first for the women with some impressive air…no doubt she flies higher than any other women

Mike Basher from Snowboard Magazine making sure he got the shot.

The Transworld Snowboarding crew were on hand

Tweeting during the event kept my hands cold but got a lot of response, thanks everyone!

I picked a spot and stayed in it for the entire event, there were plenty of people watching and hooting on their favorite athletes.  Here’s a couple of the shots I took of the athletes today.

Louie Vito took home 2nd place

Can you spot Greg Bretz’s insane air

Gretchen Bleiler took home 2nd place for women

Soko Yamaoka took home 3rd place for the women

Danny Davis

Elijah Teter

He’s one of my favorite riders to watch for style and elegance plus he throws down

Ellery Hollingsworth

Greg Bretz who also took home the rookie award

Holly Crawford

The industry tweeters were out in style for the Grand Prix and I wanted to meet the fellow female tweeters that were present.  Tricia Byrnes and Susie Floros were killing it for twitter.  I missed Tricia but was able to meet Susie after the event so we got a picture together.

After watching the finals from the side of the superpipe, I made my way down to the bottom to watch the awards.  I ran into Bree who reads the blog and we chatted it up on the side of the pipe.  At the bottom there were quite a lot of people taking photos and getting interviews done.  Luckily the Grand Prix is broadcasted on NBC so if you missed the action you can watch it on TV.

Everyone trying to get the shot

Despite 2nd place and not her best runs, Gretchen was all smiles at awards

Kelly Clark took first, Gretchen Bleiler took second and Soko Yamaoka took third for the women

Knuckles between Louie Vito and Shaun White during the awards

Shaun White took first, Louie Vito in second and Zach Black in third for the men

The rookie awards:  Maddy Schaffrick (yay Steamboat!) and Greg Bretz

The future of snowboarding is looking strong with these two riders.

I made my way down to the base and ran into one of my readers at the Snowboarder Magazine tent and he ended up showing me his sticker job on his Indoor Survival (check out the sticker mix at the bottom).  We talked snowboarding and I was able to meet his family who are all stoked on the blog as well.

While talking about the Grand Prix event and Louie Vito’s Dancing with the Stars fame, we came across Louie so I snapped a shot of him and his wife with Louie.

Got the Louie Vito autograph on his 686 jacket

Another shayboarder sticker job

When I was walking out, I ran into Mark Sullivan who I didn’t even know was the announcer today…but it was fun catching up with him and talking industry.  I was feeling tired and ready to go home to Steamboat so I ended up leaving Copper so I could head back to Steamboat.  It looks like I’ll be able to borrow bindings this week so it’ll be nice to be on snow tomorrow at Steamboat and enjoy a relaxing day.

About the author


From the beginning of time, I was Shannon. From the beginning of snowboarding, I was Shay. From the beginning of online communities, I was Shayboarder. In the end, I’m the writer, photographer, editor, publisher, guru of sorts, product tester, curvy girl, and most importantly the snowboarder behind it all. Follow me on this journey through snowboarding, mountain biking, traveling and fun experiences!

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  1. David (aka Kimchi)
    December 12, 2009

    Man, that dude and his wife are either huge or Louie Vito is very small. Dude looks like a gymnast mighty mite.

  2. December 13, 2009

    Are you sure I didn’t win the grand prix shay? Oh yeah I read this twice and didn’t read anything about 720 team rider Jesse Heuge!!! She killed it although she didn’t make the finals (shes only 15)

  3. FLuiD
    December 13, 2009

    Thanks again for the coverage Shannon. What app is that your using to tweet on the ‘berry? 🙂

  4. December 13, 2009

    David, you must have missed dancing with the stars where they nicknamed him the dancing hobbit. Louie’s a tiny guy, he’s shorter than me.

    Adrian, sorry wasn’t you or Jesse.

    Fluid, that’s ubertwitter…a friend got me on it and I’m really happy with it.